Monday, 21 September 2009

Food Journey #21 = Monsieur Chatte

This posting is dedicated to a true group local food heroes in Hong Kong - the Chattes Family. Although French, we should be proud to have such quality of French fresh produce existence in Hong Kong and this has been one of the best food adventures up to this moment. The 3 floored shop is quietly located on Bonham Strand without much signage therefore took me some time to locate the shop but the moment I stepped in, I was blown away with the abundance of food & wine.

Ground floor of Monsieur Chatte looks a resemblance of a deli shop, similar style to IL Bel Paese where you can find fresh French cheese, fois gras, Baguettes, Saucisson, French Wine, Canneles etc (see photos below). Once you look at the price tag, it is a lot more affordable and cheaper comparison to your other delis around town which makes it even more attractive. 2nd floor carries mainly French Fine Wine + plentiful of French Desserts & Sweets including Crepes and 3rd floor is the best part of Monsieur Chatte and has an aura of traditional French styled living room. Wooden table, wooden chairs, stereo system playing French music, toast machines for making your own toasts, daily papers & magazine + complimentary Wi-Fi, this will become one of my regular hang-out spots during the lazy afternoons!

My visit on Friday consisted of several reasons:

a) To visit an old friend -- Monsieur Chatte himself

b) To solve my hunger with some proper French styled lunch on a lazy Friday afternoon

c) To learn more about French Cheese

Part C was the most wonderful part of the journey as god knows how many types of cheeses I sampled on the day. Am a strong flavoured Cheese lover therefore didnt bother having the usual & boring types as local Hong Kong people eat on average such as your Brie, Camembert, Cheddar etc. Few of the highlights which I want to mention;

-Tomme De Savoire
= Tomme de Savoie is a variety of Tomme Cheese from Savoie in the French Alps. Usually made from skim milk left over, the cheese is relatively low fat in content. Soft type of cheese and extremely pungent in smell & taste
= Cantal cheese is a releatively firm cheese from the Cantal region
. Cantal cheese along with Roquefort is one of France's oldest cheeses and has 2 forms of it ranging from Semi-Hard to Hard Cheese. A well ripened Cantal has extreme vigorous taste and a young cheese has the sweetness of raw milk, similar to Cheddar texture. Cantal is an uncooked cheese made from the milk of cows that graze in the mountains of the Auvergne region, which makes up part of the Massif Central mountain range in the south of France.
= Comté is a French Cheese made from unpasteurised cow's milk in the Comte region of Eastern France The rind is usually a dusty-brown colour, and the internal pâte is a pale creamy yellow. The texture is relatively hard and flexible, and the taste is mild, slightly sweet, and 'nutty'.

-Petit Valencay Cheese
= This soft cheese is made from raw goat milk. The shape of a fl attened pyramid has always been very eye-catching and is often used for baking in TV-shows. You will often see chefs wrap Pancetta or Bacon around the Petit Valencay which is then placed in the oven. Imagine all the melted cheese along with eat bite of the bacon -- delicious.

Other cheeses which I highly recommend are Beaufort & Munster which are a true culinary delight!

Monsieur Chatte is also infamous for its Home-made Fois Gras -- one of the finest delicacies ever left the country of France. Monsieur Chatte fois grad is the purest form of foie gras, consists of a whole foie gras that has been de-veined, cleaned, seasoned and cooked in its own fat with 0 preservatives added. Extreme dense texture and is a ready to eat product and is SUPER SUPER ULTRA FRESH. The foie gras from Monsieur Chatte has got to be one of the finest foie gras I have ever tasted in Hong Kong. I lost count on how many "slices" I had because it was simply delectable on a Friday lunch to have tasted such exquisite Foie Gras!!!!

After trying all the Fromage & Foie Gras, I was still fairly hungry therefore a typical lunch in France will consist of whole-hearted French Baguette. Looking into the fridge, what really caught my eye was the fresh ham, Bayonne Ham which is an air-dried salted ham from the Bayonne region in the South West of France, as well as Cantal (read above) and a French White Baguette. Decided to head up to the 3/f and made my own Ham & Cheese Toasted Baguette and voila, see below and it is one of the best lunches you can get. What a baguette to have on a Friday afternoon.

Monsieur Chatte also introduced me to a few very interesting French Desserts & Sweets. At Monsieur Chatte, they carry a Chocolate Fondue (see below photo in the midde)). It is 100% pure natural cacao which is a fondue and you can buy fresh fruits and simply dip into the can of chocolate fondue. The fresh strawberry jam (1st image on the left) are produced from all hand picked fruits daily which is the freshest product & with no added sugar to the jam, this is truly a healthy jam to be used unlike the usual sugary jams we buy from supermarkets. The Jam literally tastes like the sweetness of the fruit.

To top off my baguette, Monsieur Chatte and myself digged into French Crepes, just plain French Crepes with white sugar. Feels like eating the pancakes which you get with Peking Duck but a lot nicer and pairs well with a hot chocolate for sure. Monsieur Chatte also gave me a very traditional French Yoghurt - Petit Suisse and is often eaten by kids in France. Never been a yoghurt fan in my life but after one spoonful of it, I finished the whole pot of yoghurt and it was very pure, fruity & simply delicious. Or at least I did not have the gult of eating this after such scrumptious meal!

Wonderful place, wonderful food & wonderful people. Hats off to the local heroes of Hong Kong and Monsieur Chatte, I salute you! You made me even more want to visit Paris on my next trip with all the quality of French food. If you want true French produce & food, this is your place.

Happy Eating & Happy Drinking Beautiful French Wine!


Address: 121 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (上環文咸東街121號地下)

Tel: 3105-8077

Food Quality (5* the highest): *****

Price for lunch (5$ = very expensive): $$

View Larger Map

No comments:

Post a Comment